05 February 2006

Day of pride as the Irish League backs hunt for tragic Lisa'a body

Sunday Life

Stephen Breen
05 February 2006

There was a heartening moment when Irish Premier League football stood in solidarity with the family of murdered Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian.

Lisa's family were invited to the match between Ards and Linfield at Clandeboye Park for the unveiling of a special banner.

The banner reading - 'Sport In Northern Ireland Says Bring Lisa Home Now' - was displayed by the Blues' junior team.

Standing behind the banner were the senior players of Ards and Linfield.

Lisa's family distributed blue ribbons in her memory to supporters of both teams before kick-off.

And a billboard reading 'One Year On and She's Still Gone - Your Conscience Must Be Killing You' was also displayed outside the football ground in Bangor.

Linfield agreed to support the family's quest for justice after they were approached by Junior Blues co-ordinator Andrew Conn.

Mr Conn's show of solidarity with the Dorrians was prompted by visiting their recently-launched website, which has received around 10 million hits.

Lisa's sister Joanne said yesterday's show of support by the two Irish Premier League clubs was "fantastic".

"This is a brilliant gesture by the two football clubs and we have to thank Andy Conn for coming up with the idea. He is so passionate about Lisa's case.

"We welcome any support for our campaign and it's great to see local football clubs backing our campaign.

"We hope there are other sporting organisations out there who see what Linfield and Ards have done for us and could hopefully do something similar.

"But it would also be great if the message of support displayed would prompt someone to come forward to tell us where Lisa is."

Added Mr Conn: "I'm certainly hoping other teams will follow our lead. I want the Ulster rugby team, GAA teams, motorbikers, anyone, to do the same, too.

"I'll take the banner to any team who would be willing to display it, I think it is the least we can all do.

"I just think the people of Northern Ireland should be getting behind this family.

"The tragedy upsets me deeply - I have a seven-year-old daughter and I sincerely hope that, 18 years down the line, I won't have to face the living hell the Dorrians are going through."

Linfield are also set to ask Glentoran if the banner can be displayed during the 'big two' derby encounter at The Oval, which coincides with the first anniversary of Lisa's disappearance on February 28.

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